Doctors evaluating Lockett’s sanity

Mary Lockett

One year ago this week, the Dupo community lost beloved 4-year-old Emily Rose Perrin to suffocation.

Emily’s mother, Mary B. Lockett, was arrested shortly after the incident and charged with first-degree murder. She was indicted by a grand jury within the month.

The case remains pending in St. Clair County Circuit Court, where a determination is being made on whether Lockett was insane at the time of the incident. A judge granted a continuance in October for a psychiatrist to review medical reports and discovery to “make a court ordered determination as to (Lockett’s) sanity at the time of the alleged offense.”

The doctor came back with a report in December stating that Lockett could qualify as “guilty but mentally ill.” In Illinois, if a person is found to have been suffering from a mental illness at the time of committing a crime but was not insane, that person can be found guilty but mentally ill and still face criminal consequences. The defendant would also receive psychiatric treatment.

The Illinois Criminal Code of 2012 states that a defendant who lacked “substantial capacity to appreciate the criminality of his conduct” would qualify for a not guilty by reason of insanity plea. Such a plea would allow the defendant to be put into a mental health facility for the criminally insane.

Earlier this year, the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s office said it would be seeking an expert opinion from another doctor as to Lockett’s sanity.

St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly told the Republic-Times an estimated time frame cannot not be given for when, or even if, the case would go to trial.

“It’s contingent on the assessments made (by doctors),” he said.

Illinois State Police and the Southern Illinois Child Death Investigation Task Force investigated the nature of Emily’s death. Prosecutors allege Lockett suffocated Emily inside their home.

Emily battled cystic fibrosis, those familiar with the family told the media. She died a day before her fifth birthday.

Lockett remains in custody at the St. Clair County Jail in Belleville.

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